Pub. Date:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde

History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde

by Laura Bigman


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As Africa entered the 1990s, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa declared the continent incapable of feeding at least one-fifth of its peoples. Africa is the only region in the world where per capita food production is actually declining. Even with imports, the average African gets only enough nourishment to meet 85 percent of the minimum daily calorie requirement. This book analyzes the contemporary food crisis in Africa from an historical perspective, using two West African case studies.

From the perspective of food production and entitlement, the volume traces the economic history of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde beginning with the slave trade, through the colonial and postcolonial periods to democratization and structural adjustment. Using the theory and methodology of political economy, the study argues that the way in which African societies have been integrated into the world market diverted resources from food production, exacerbated exploitation, thus affecting entitlement to the food produced. Conditions for national food dependency and the degradation of the environment ensued.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313267468
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/30/1993
Series: Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies Series , #15
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

LAURA BIGMAN is founder of the Africans in Washington Project and is currently a Research Associate in the African Studies Department at Howard University.

Table of Contents


The Food Question in Africa: An Historical Perspective

The Peoples of Guinea-Bissau and the Slave Trade Era

Guinea-Bissau: The Colonial Economy

Peanuts, Plantations and the Senegalization of Guinea-Bissau

Politics of Force and Forced Migration

Cape Verde Islands: Colonialism, Commerce and Crop Failures

Slavery and Tenancy

The Party-States, Privatization and Food

Guinea-Bissau: Rice. Trade, Aid and the New Ponteiros

Cape Verde: Agarrian Reform, Public Works and Extraversion


Historical Islamic States of the Guinea-Bissau Region

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